These Rams can compete for the NFC West

The 20-3 rout of Seattle gave the Rams a lot of “first since” moments, as they improved to 2-2 and moved into a first place tie in the NFC West. With the winless Detroit Lions on the horizon, a Rams win would equal their total of the last two years in a three game stretch.

Of course, they snapped a ten game losing streak to the Seahawks, plus a fifteen game skid against the NFC West that dated back to a win over the 49ers on November 18 of 2007.

The last time the Rams were tied for first in the division? Late October of 2006, when they and Seattle were tied atop the NFC West at 4-3. That time frame was also the last time the Rams won back to back home games, taking their opener against Denver and then their second home game vs. Detroit on October 1.

The last time they had allowed three points or fewer was December 17 of ’06, when they shut out the Raiders 20-0. And Sam Bradford’s six touchdown passes in the first four games are the most for the Rams since Marc Bulger threw eight in the first four games of Mike Martz’ last season, 2005.

The schedule is favorable for the Rams, who visit Detroit next week, then host San Diego, go to Tampa Bay, welcome Carolina to town and are at San Francisco after a bye and before Atlanta comes to the Edward Jones Dome. It’s not unrealistic to think that the Rams can get to 6-3, and match their three year win total in the first nine games of this season.

Steven Jackson was inspirational in running for 70 yards. The defense was terrific…and continues to improve…and the Rams special teams truly were special, allowing Seattle’s top rated return units 23 yards per kick return and an anemic six yards on the three punt returns they had. Donnie Jones didn’t allow returns on four other kicks.

The Rams can do lots of things better. Bradford wasn’t his normal amazing self, misfiring on several passes, and they averaged just 3.1 yards per carry. The red zone struggles continued, with the Rams getting just one touchdown in five trips inside the Seattle 20 yard line.

Amazingly, the NFC West is there for the taking. San Francisco lost again, as Nate Clements fumbled the winning interception in Atlanta with a minute and a half to go. Arizona turned their offense over to an undrafted rookie quarterback. And we saw what the Rams did against Seattle.

If the Rams play the way they have the last two weeks in every game the rest of the way, there’s no reason to think they can’t compete for the NFC West crown.